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Eat and Drink

Eat your way through Queens Chinatown!

That lo mein from the Chinese take-out spot down the street may be satisfying, but when it comes to authentic Chinese food, those greasy noodles don't stand a chance.

Many New Yorkers have yet to make the trek (barely a journey compared to the flight to Beijing) to Flushing, where Queens' Chinatown is dishing out some of the best food in the city.

Grab some cash (most places are cash only), extra bags for leftovers and some hungry friends and get yourself to Flushing for a day of food!

Hop on the 7 train or LIRR (CityTicket, $4.25 on weekends)-- within minutes you will be transported to a Chinese food mecca.

9:30 a.m.- Dim Sum

You have a full day of eating ahead,
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

You have a full day of eating ahead, and pacing yourself when at dim-sum-- a Cantonese style of dumpling-- is going to be challenging. Show up early to avoid a long wait, sit at a round communal table swarmed with trolleys filled with savory and sweet dumplings, steamed buns, congee and desserts. Point to a dish that interests you and a server will stamp your meal ticket before placing the dish on your table. Don?t even bother asking what each item is- if it looks good, try it. Cantonese classics can also be ordered off a more formal menu. Get a glimpse of what surrounding tables are eating and follow suit.

We love banquet-hall-decorated Lake Pavilion (60-15 Main St.) for huge plates of Peking Duck, fresh fish (ask for the steamed fish with garlic and ginger) and roast pork buns to take home.

East Manor (46-45 Kissena Blvd.) is also a local favorite. Open at 8 a.m. for an earlier start, carts here are filled with fresh shu mai and pork buns served in a bamboo steamer. Try an order of barbecued chicken feet; once you get past the appearance, you'll love the perfectly sweet and spicy flavor-- watch for bones! Don't forget to get up and walk over to the corner and grab some fresh greens stir fried with garlic for the table.

12:30 p.m.- Snack Time

Now that you're warmed up after dim sum,
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Now that you're warmed up after dim sum, it's time to indulge in some authentic snacks (this could really be a meal, or an entire day's worth of food for that matter, but the more the merrier, right?). Walk around a little while you digest and take in the bustling streets of Flushing. Don't expect to communicate too easily if you don't speak a dialect of Chinese. Stop by the street level counter of the Golden Mall (41-28 Main St.) for a few bites to share. It's a small hole in the wall (literally), their specialty beef wrapped in greasy scallion pancake and meat pie-like lamb burgers are outstanding. Bring along few wet naps-- you'll need them!

If you're feeling patient, check out the basement
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

If you're feeling patient, check out the basement of this institution, which is packed with loads of edible options. Hit up the original location of now well-known Xi'an Famous Foods or Tianjin Dumpling House for unforgettable pork and chive dumplings smothered in fiery red hot chili oil.

2:00 p.m. - Lunch

Continue down Main St. to the New World
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Continue down Main St. to the New World Mall (136-20 Roosevelt Ave.), go up the escalator to the supermarket, bear left behind the cash registers (don't stop at the dumpling counter on this floor), and descend the escalator into one of the most impressive food courts in NYC. Thirty two stands with unbelievable (and cheap) food from all over North and South-Asia will lure you with giant bowls and aluminum trays of food to share.

Once you stop off the escalator, make a
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Once you stop off the escalator, make a sharp left and head to Lan Zhou Hand Made Noodle; identifiable by the man hand pulling noodles in the window. Most of the noodles are served in soup, but try the Beef Fried Ramen with veggies for and tender chunks of steak. Add the chili sauce at your own risk. Servings are huge, so ask for noodles to go so you can easily bring the rest home.

At the back left corner two adjacent stands
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

At the back left corner two adjacent stands will provide your dumpling fix. One dishes out fried pork buns topped with sesame seeds, served hot off the frying pan. The other serves healthier, steamed dumplings, stuffed right before your eyes. The name of this stand is unclear, but the women working here wear hats that read "Captian's Fish Dumpling" (yes "Captian").

Continue clockwise around the food court until you
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Continue clockwise around the food court until you end up at Tao Rice Rolls for a Taiwanese snack. Have your mind blown for $3.50 with their namesake Tao rice roll. Watch as sticky rice is loaded with seaweed, pork floss (dried shredded pork, amazing), Chinese sausage, a tea egg (egg boiled in tea), fried cruller and spicy Japanese mayo, and rolled into a burrito-looking ball of perfection. Seriously intense flavors and textures explode in your mouth. You can also order the Meicai rice roll with sour preserved veggies ($3.75) or the seafood rice roll with kani (imitation crab meat) and a crunch of seaweed salad ($4).

Keep your eyes out for a stand featuring
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Keep your eyes out for a stand featuring raw meat skewers, cooked to order behind a glass window. Priced between $1.50-$2.50 prepare to indulge. Going spicy is a must-- it's actually very hot, but the flavors on the dry rub are incredible and seriously worth the temporary burn. The beef and lamb skewers are a safe, delicious bet, but if you're feeling risky try the chicken gizzards.

This food court is not for the faint of heart. We aren't the only people enthralled by this place, so finding a spot to sit will be no small feat. Be aggressive and don't be afraid to hover, in fact, you must hover. Once you've established a position, it is imperative that you assign friends to stand guard if you leave to get more food. It's tough out there, so we wish you well on the battlefield.

4:00 p.m.- Tea Time

You can find this trendy drink all over
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

You can find this trendy drink all over NYC, but it?s sold on almost every corner in Flushing.Coco (39-22 Main St.) is a classic spot conveniently located across the street from the New World Mall. Walk up to the outdoor counter and try the taro or green milk tea with tapioca bubbles for something sweet or the passion fruit green tea for a refreshing treat.

5:00 p.m.- Food Shopping

Prices are great at the innumerable food markets
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

Prices are great at the innumerable food markets on the streets. Stock up on staples to bring home, but don't forget to be adventurous and try some cactus-related dragon fruit or Chinese-native lychees. Each market is like a mini aquarium with everything from flounder swimming and frogs hopping around. You can find one on almost every street, but massive J-Mart Supermarket is conveniently located in the New World Mall.

7:00 p.m.- Dinner

It's time to eat again! Turn up the
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrofsky

It's time to eat again! Turn up the heat for some of Flushing's spicier options.

Biang! (41-10 Main St.) is Xi'an Famous Foods' (the stand in the basement of the Golden Mall) chic sit-down restaurant. They serve Northwestern Chinese street food tapas-- order a bunch of items for the table to share. Start with the spicy cumin lamb burger served in two homemade flat bread buns or the mantou (steamed bun) topped with homemade pork sausage and a sunny-side-up quail egg, a play on an egg McMuffin, but better. The Spicy and Tingly Beef Biang-Biang Noodles really steal the spotlight. Named Biang because of the sound made when noodles are pulled and slapped against a work surface and tingly because of the way the Chinese peppercorns make your mouth feel, this dish will blow your mind.

Hly Chinese Cuisine (43-23 Main St.) serves up
Photo Credit: Karina Shedrosfky

Hly Chinese Cuisine (43-23 Main St.) serves up Szechuan cuisine, which means red-hot, spicy and oily sauces. They have some non-spicy options for those who need to tone it down, but their spicy lamb with scallions and fried red onions is a must- it's cooked perfectly and not too greasy. Save room for dessert, you'll want the fried white sweet potato dripping in syrup that you dunk in ice water to harden before eating.

Also check out Golden Palace (140-09 Cherry Ave) in downtown Flushing for their Cumin Lamb alone. If you aren't dumpling-ed out, try their leek dumplings with pork-- also available frozen to take home. Servings are big for their value and if you're in the area for lunch -- we know you'll be back, a lunch special is only $4.99.


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